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Institute at UCO to examine multicultural education needs

By Sarah Hill
The Oklahoman

EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Education and Professional Studies will host the Multicultural Education Institute on Feb. 19-20 in Nigh University Center.

The institute is designed to help teachers, administrators, counselors and education personnel implement strategies and programs in schools that build cross-cultural appreciation and academic success for all students.

With the theme “Multicultural Education: Recipe for a Brighter Future,” the event will feature nationally recognized and local speakers who will present multicultural information.

“Today’s student is much different than 20 years ago. They have different backgrounds and needs. And as educators, it is our responsibility to offer the best educational experience we can for our students,” said April Haulman, Multicultural Education Institute director and professor of curriculum and instruction at UCO.

Sign-up will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19. From 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., the general session will feature keynote speaker Shane DeRolf, founder and chief creative officer of the Big Green Co. and author of the children’s book “The Crayon Box that Talked.”

A banquet will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Nigh University Center’s Grand Ballroom featuring Oklahoma Air National Guard retired Maj. Gen. LaRita Aragon. She will speak about her experiences as an educator in high-risk schools.

Aragon served as a secondary-school educator from 1970-97. She is the leader in residence for UCO’s College of Education and Professional Studies.

The institute will reconvene with a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 20 in the Grand Ballroom, with a presentation from Jack D’Amico, professor of communicative disorders at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and coauthor of “Special Education Considerations for English Language Learners.”

Titled “Culturally-Linguistically Appropriate Response to Intervention,” D’Amico’s speech will focus on retention intervention for English-language learners.

After the luncheon, the presentation of awards for multicultural citizen of the year, multicultural teacher of the year and bilingual paraprofessional of the year will take place.

Institute participants will receive a certificate of attendance for professional development purposes.

The institute costs $75, including meals and materials. All guests, presenters, poster and essay contest participants, and award and grant entries must be registered and complete by Feb. 9.

For more information or to register, go to http://ceps.uco.edu/dept/cni/mei2010 or call Haulman at 974-5139 or Barby Osborn at 974-5721.